NewTeeVee Live: The Cliffs Notes Version

By: Chris Albrecht and Liz Gannes
November 13, 2009

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but you know how we know yesterday’s NewTeeVee Live conference was awesome? We’re not exhausted. Typically after an all-day show packed with interviews, on-stage moderating, and shaking hands, you’re pretty wiped out.
But the energy was so great yesterday that we’re just pumped for the year ahead. If you weren’t able to attend, you should check out the video from the day (thanks, Livestream!), but if you’re looking for something faster, here’s a recap of what we learned:

Fireside chats  = awesome
We went out on a limb yesterday and built our day around one-on-one chats and short presentations and only had one panel. The result was the ability to have deeper conversations and extract real news from our guests.

Take Comcast’s TV Everywhere To Go
Comcast Interactive president Amy Banse is a charmer who could sell ice to the Eskimos. Talking with her, you literally start thinking “Hey, Comcast isn’t so bad… maybe I should get that triple play package.”  While she’s a cagey one, Banse did provide us tasty TV Everywhere nuggets:
•    First, it sounds like Comcast’s On Demand Online will be available “by Hanukkah” (which starts Dec. 11).
•    You’ll need to download the Move player along with an authentication app, and you can authorize up to three devices in the home.
•    Also, contrary to earlier reports — Comcast subscribers will be able to access their On Demand Online content outside the home. So you can fire up your laptop while traveling to catch up on content you may have missed.

YouTube Goes 1080p
If there’s any one thing to show you how far video technology has come, during the first NewTeeVee Live in 2007, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen dismissed HD and said his company wanted to provide video quality that was “good enough.” Fast forward to 2009, now YouTube is playing 1080p video as announced by head of product Hunter Walk during an on-stage interview. This comes less than a year after YouTube switched on HD, and will apply to the site’s whole library of previous uploads of 1080p-quality videos. Walk said about 10 percent of YouTube videos are uploaded in some form of HD, though the percent of views for such videos may be smaller given many people are better served with a smooth lower-quality stream.

Redbox Sees Beyond DVDs
The controversial DVD kiosk company recognizes the DVD won’t be around forever and has already started testing direct digital downloads in some kiosks.

Xbox LIVE Gets Social Next Week
Creating social TV experiences is a big emphasis for Microsoft and Facebook and Twitter will be landing on the platform on Nov. 17.

Boxee Knows How to Get Press
Making the prediction that in five years there will be more Apple subscribers than Comcast subscribers while at a conference where Comcast is speaking is an easy way to grab headlines. Regardless, Boxee still has tongues wagging and that will only increase when it unveils its upcoming mystery box.

Roku is Becoming a Platform (But Still Likes the Hardware Biz)
The company’s Channel Store will be launching imminently, enabling just about anyone to create a channel for the box (and the TV, by extension). But while the company is building a flexible and potentially powerful TV-connected platform, Roku still likes being in the (tough) hardware business and will keep making boxes.

Video Helping PBS Get Hip
PBS is now drawing 26-minute sessions to its video portal, and will soon introduce a version of its site that automatically syndicates local stations’ content.

Adobe Pooh-Poohs Open Video
CTO Kevin Lynch said HTML 5 is trying to do what Flash already does today.

CNN Refocuses Web Video Effort Around Live Events
The network sees more promise in its social TV efforts with Facebook than in linear newscasts, and talked up the live event coverage on the same day it laid off its web news anchors.

VIZIO is the New Fred
Last year, crowds flocked around young YouTube star, Fred. This year it was Matt McRae of Vizio. The head of platforms (i.e. widgets) for the country’s No. 1 TV manufacturer was mobbed after his chat and had to pass through a gauntlet of eager developers looking for a home for their apps.

Thanks to all of our speakers, the rest of the GigaOM Family who furiously liveblogged our talks (newbie Ryan Lawler had a baptism by fire this week!), all of our sponsors and all of you who came out, including a sell-out crowd of 600 to the venue and 12,000 more uniques via the live video stream. See you at NewTeeVee Live 2010!